What is dramatic irony in "Macbeth"? Is Macbeth a hero or a villain?

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I think that a good example of dramatic irony in Macbeth is when King Duncan comes to the castle of the Macbeths for a visit to celebrate Macbeth's elevation to Thane of Cawdor and the audience knows that the king is going to be murdered, but the king has no idea.

The king does not know that he has walked into a trap.  The Macbeths have a lovely party, Lady Macbeth especially, pays respect to the king, honors the king and celebrates with him. She tells her husband that they must not reveal from their facial expressions or their demeanor any of their plans for later that night.  She tells him:

Lady Macbeth: Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
[...]
...look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under't. (Act I Scene V)

Macbeth is a villain in my view, he grabs the opportunity to be king with both hands.  He kills the king, even though he is having second thoughts.  His failure to resist temptation, as illustrated by the witches prophecy, result in the total corruption of Macbeth's personality, the forfeiture of his soul and his total destruction.  

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Dramatic Irony is when the reader/audience knows more than one or more characters on stage. Sometimes one or more characters also share the same information the audience has (e.g., in Romeo and Juliet Romeo knows he's listening to Juliet's declaration of love for him, and we know he's in the bushes under her balcony, but she does not have this knowledge).

In Macbeth, the most memorable example of dramatic irony is that the witches and Hecate are going to use the apparitions to mislead Macbeth and cause his downfall: we know about it but he doesn't

We also know that Macbeth is feeling guilty and remorseful because of Banquo as well as Duncan.  Lady Macbeth only knows about Duncan in Act III, scene ii.

Lady Macbeth: What's to be done?
Macbeth: Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day;... (III.ii)

 

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